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Slipping away: Tips for skid recovery

Hitting brakes suddenly can create jackknife situation

Posted January 24, 2019

Conditions have deteriorated to the point where roads are snow-and-ice covered when suddenly a driver hits the brakes and starts to skid, losing control of the trailer.

A trailer can jackknife when a driver over-brakes or oversteers, creating a situation where the trailer is moving forward at a higher speed than the tractor. When the trailer cannot continue moving forward, it will slide to the side creating a potentially dangerous situation for the driver and others on the road.

To recover from a skid, drivers need to remember to stay off the brake, turn the steering wheel quickly and remember to counter-steer when necessary.

To help prevent a jackknife situation, drivers should take these precautions:

  • Inspect the air system and check brake adjustment;
  • Adjust vehicle speed to suit conditions;
  • Read the road ahead;
  • Avoid braking in curves; and
  • Avoid hard braking.

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